This edition of One Night Only knows which side its bread is buttered on.
(Games listed in order of likely awesomness. NERD scores in parentheses.)
Chicago Americans (5) at Cleveland (3) | 7:05 ET
White Sox: Edwin Jackson (8)
162.1 IP, 7.65 K/9, 3.71 BB/9, .318 BABIP, 51.8% GB, 10.2% HR/FB, 3.97 xFIP
Indians: Justin Masterson (6)
151.1 IP, 6.78 K/9, 4.10 BB/9, .341 BABIP, 60.7% GB, 11.0% HR/FB, 4.23 xFIP
Manny Traded via Waivers
Let’s be clear about one thing, America: this game is miles more interesting if newly acquired Manny Ramirez is playing in it. And let’s be clear about another thing, America: NERD doesn’t really have a way of accounting for this.
Or, at least not yet.
Maybe — how about this — maybe a game becomes an automatic 10 when one of the most talented, yet enigmatic, players of his era joins a team just on the fringe of playoff contention — a team that, for the entire season, has slotted a no-hit journeyman into the DH spot and also features a mouthy Latin whack job for a manager.
Out of Left Field. Literally. Kind Of.
Though it’s become commonplace to say that the White Sox have effed themselves by fielding* Mark Kotsay at DH — and while, yes, Mark Kotsay, isn’t a good DH — it’s actually not the position at which they’ve failed hardest. Because, while Chicago’s DHs have posted a 92 OPS+ relative to the league average DH, the team’s left fielders (ahem, Juan Pierre) have posted only an 83 OPS+ relative to other left fielders. No, OPS+ isn’t perfect, and, yes, maybe Pierre picks up some overall runs via stolen bases and such. But it’s still bad, people.
Edwin Jackson, in case you didn’t know, has been good since joining the White Sox. Like, disgusting-good. Blam, line: 28.0 IP, 10.93 K/9, 2.25 BB/9, 58.9% GB, 2.55 xFIP, 1.1 WAR. And he’s got 21 Ks over his last two starts.
*Not the precise word, obviously, but what’s better? Batting? Deploying?
Colorado (6) at San Francisco (4) | 10:15pm ET
Rockies: Esmil Rogers (9)
49.1 IP, 8.21 K/9, 3.10 BB/9, .393 BABIP, 48.1% GB, 6.5% HR/FB, 3.71 xFIP
Giants: Madison Bumgarner (7)
73.0 IP, 6.41 K/9, 2.34 BB/9, .322 BABIP, 44.8% GB, 10.9% HR/FB, 4.30 xFIP
Esmil Rogers has exploded to the top of the NERD charts recently. Why’s he there? Let me count the ways.
1. Bad Luck. Despite an ERA of 5.66, Rogers is actually currently sporting only a 3.71 xFIP. Rocky pitchers will always have inflated-looking BABIPs — Coors has a BABIP about 20 points higher than league average — but his current number is far above what it ought to be.
2. Velocity. Rogers’ fastball is currently averaging 94.3 mph overall (and 93.7 mph as a starter). That’s faster than fastballs belonging to a whole bunch of guys typically classified as power pitchers, guys such as Josh Beckett, Mat Latos, Francisco Liriano, Brandon Morrow, and CC Sabathia.
3. Age. Rogers only just turned 25, which means he’s been 24 for the majority of the season, which means he’s on the youngish side of things. Also, besides a four-inning start last season, it’s his first real season in the majors.
Andres Torres Watch
Last Night (v Colorado): 4 PA, 2 K.
Entering Playing: .284/.366/.498 (.351 BABIP), .379 wOBA, 138 wRC+, 5.7 WAR (8th among hitters).
Andres Torres Watch (Totally Subjective Remix)
Andres Torres remains talented and handsome. I want him to be my power animal.
A Brief Critique of Dave Cameron
About two weeks ago, to celebrate the arrival of 2010 minor league stats to the site, our Full-Time Employee Dave Cameron wrote a brief article singing the praises of Luis Rodriguez, who, after years of serving as a sort of Quad-A utility infielder, is having a crazy season. To quote Cameron:
In 354 plate appearances, Rodriguez is hitting .296/.360/.502. That is not a typo – the diminutive middle infielder is outslugging Jesus Montero. A guy who has slapped the ball on the ground for most of his career, he’s already launched 15 home runs in the International League, and 31 of his 90 hits have gone for extra bases. He’s done this while maintaining his excellent bat control, as he again has more walks (34) than strikeouts (30).
Because I’m a human person, this story warms the cockles of my heart. Moreover, I celebrate our generally unassailable Editor for calling attention to Rodriguez’s achievement.
However, I do take umbrage at one of Cameron’s maneuvers, and it’s this: in a moment of poor judgment, Cameron opted to title his post “The Next Andres Torres?” Because it’s phrased as a question, I’ll provide the answer here post-haste:
“Oh, but Carson,” maybe you’re saying, “Torres was also a career minor league who also improved considerably during what would otherwise be considered the end of his peak years.” To this I reply: “Sure, but is Luis Rodriguez anywhere near as handsome as Andres Torres?” Let’s check.
Conclusion: no way, friend.
Milwaukee (8) at Cincinnati (7) | 7:10pm ET
Brewers: Yovani Gallardo (8)
149.0 IP, 9.97 K/9, 3.74 BB/9, .338 BABIP, 43.3% GB, 6.8% HR/FB, 3.42 xFIP
Reds: Aaron Harang (5)
100.1 IP, 6.73 K.9, 2.51 BB.9, .331 BABIP, 37.7% GB, 11.5% HR/FB, 4.33 xFIP
Just One Brief Note
This game marks the return of Aaron Harang from the DL. That’s what we in the industry refer to as “need to know” information.
These games are very likely playing at some kind of sporty channel near you.
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